Thursday, June 23, 2011

White Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Cupcakes

by Darla

My luggage finally joined me in Minnesota the other day. Tuesday, to be exact. That’s right, my luggage didn’t get to me until five days after I had already been visiting my sis and her family. I was not a happy camper. Luckily, and happily, I’ve had my nephews to distract me. :) We spent the last couple of days baking together, and it has been wonderful! I plan on sharing what we made, as well as lots of photos with them, once I’m back home. We made some pretty cute Fourth of July cupcakes that I think you guys will like! Today, though, I have a different cupcake for you.

Remember the other day when I said I got to buy some strawberries recently? And remember the ice cream I made? Well, I bought a lot of strawberries.

Beautiful, bright, fresh, red strawberries. I didn’t know when I’d get some so lovely again, so I had to stock up a bit. So do you remember that I mentioned doing something yummy with the leftover strawberry ice cream?

I wasn’t kidding around. I decided I wanted something shortcake-like, but in cupcake form. I also wanted some white chocolate, and I wanted to use the ice cream as a filling somehow. What I came up with is a sort of fancy shortcake, eat-with-a-fork (or spoon) cupcake. Usually, I’m not a fan of a cupcake that needs to be eaten with utensils. In my opinion, a huge part of what makes cupcakes so special is their portability. You can just grab them and go. For ice cream filled, fresh strawberry topped cupcakes, though, I was willing to make an exception.

For the actual cupcake, I decided to do white chocolate. I’ve never made a white chocolate cupcake before, but I thought they sounded delicious. They are delicious. Really. All you need for them is sugar, all-purpose flour, milk, unsalted butter, eggs, white chocolate (I used high quality chips), salt, baking powder, and vanilla extract.

The cupcakes baked up soft and beautiful. They had a mild, but tasty, white chocolate flavor and a perfect texture. While they cooled, I made some fresh whipped cream (recipe below), but went with an extra vanilla-y flavor to stand up better to the white chocolate, ice cream, and fresh strawberries. I also got to work on the strawberry topping.

Use the tutorial from Monday’s strawberry ice cream post to quickly and easily hull your strawberries for the topping.

Once all of the strawberries are hulled, crush about one-third of them with a potato masher. Do not process or blend them-this isn’t supposed to be a puree.

Slice the remaining two-thirds of the strawberries however you like. I just did basic slices, but you can make them bite sized chunks of that’s more appealing to you.

Stir the crushed and sliced strawberries together with a little sugar, cover, and set aside for at least an hour before using.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, core the center out of each one. I chose not to keep the cores for later use (translation: I ate them as I worked), but if you like, you can save them and place them back on the cupcakes after filling them. Or you could even crumble them over the tops of the cupcakes after frosting and topping them.

Fill each cupcake with one to two tablespoons of strawberry ice cream.

Don’t worry if the ice cream is mounded over the tops of the cupcakes a little, they’ll be covered up.

Top each cupcake with fresh whipped cream. I used a large star tip to add the whipped cream to my cupcakes, but they look just as delicious with the cream just spooned or spread on top.

Finally, spoon as little or as much of the strawberry topping onto the cupcakes as you’d like.

These can be made ahead of time by coring, filling, and freezing the cupcakes until ready to frost, top, and serve, but I found, and everyone agreed, that they were best when eaten right away. They were also good when allowed to thaw for a bit after being assembled and frozen. None of us liked them straight from the freezer, though. The cupcakes were just so much better when they were soft, rather then frozen.

I would suggest either assembling the cupcakes and serving them immediately, or coring, filling, and freezing the cupcakes ahead of time, but allowing them to sit at room temperature for 15 to 25 minutes before adding the whipped cream and strawberry topping. Then serve them immediately after topping them.

These were one of the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. The white chocolate and strawberry flavors perfectly complimented each other and having ice cream built right into the cake was so fun and scrumptious!

One of the most excellent things about these is that they can be made in countless flavor combinations. You can use any cupcake recipe you love, filled with any of your favorite ice creams, frosted with whipped cream or whatever frosting you like, and topped with anything from fresh fruit to roasted nuts to hot fudge or candy. The possibilities are endless! And, even better, you don’t even have to make everything from scratch if you don’t want to. Each and every component can be replaced with pre-made and store bought items to save time.

I definitely recommend trying our this recipe right away. It’s the perfect summer treat with the perfect summer flavors. Enjoy!

White Chocolate Cupcakes
with Strawberry Ice Cream Filling
Makes 18 cupcakes
Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
4 ounces white chocolate (I used chips), melted and cooled to room temperature.
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk, at room temperature

1 recipe Strawberry Ice Cream

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter until light in color. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just combined, scraping the bowl as needed. Stir in the melted chocolate and vanilla until combined. Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture into the bowl and mix until just combined. Add half of the milk, mixing until just combined before adding the rest of the flour and milk in alternating additions (half of the remaining flour, the remaining milk, the remaining flour) Do not over mix.

Place 2 level tablespoons of batter in each cupcake liner. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until centers are slightly firm. Allow to cool completely before filling or frosting.

Very Vanilla Whipped Cream
Ingredients

2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (if you can’t get vanilla sugar, you can use plain sugar and add and extra 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large owl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whip the cream on medium high speed until it thickens and very soft peaks begin to form. Add the vanilla sugar and continue whipping until firm peaks form. Stir in the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Do not over whip.

Fresh Strawberry Topping
Ingredients

1/2 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled (see quick hulling tutorial)
1 tablespoon sugar

To make the strawberry topping: Slice 2/3 of the strawberries and set aside.

Place the remaining 1/3 of the strawberries in a medium bowl and crush with a masher. Stir int eh sugar and sliced strawberries. Cover and set aside to macerate for at least an hour before using.

Assemble the cupcakes: Cut a core out of each of the cupcakes. Fill each cupcake with 1 to 2 tablespoons of ice cream. Frost with fresh whipped cream and top with strawberry topping. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Darla

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stephanie June 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Wow! Those look gorgeous, refreshing, and incredibly yummy! :)

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2 Meredith June 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Oh my goodness… these sound *so* good, I can’t stand it. I am only just getting into making ‘fancy’ cupcakes, and am really intrigued by adding and filling with ingredients to take them to the next level. This one is HIGH on my list of ‘to-try’!!!!

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3 Blog is the New Black June 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I love this idea!!!! :)

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4 Nayma Mazloum June 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Clever idea!!… great photos!!

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5 Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) June 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Wow Darla. These cupcakes look too good to be true. Strawberries ar eone of my favorite things to bake with!

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6 Sasha @ The Procrastobaker June 23, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Goodness me. Your photography never fails to astonish me with how perfect it is, its literally art! And dont even get me started on how much i want to try one of these divine little cupcakes! If ever you fancy taking pity on a poor starving uni kid and parting with some of your beautiful creations i will happily send you my address :)

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7 Tina @ My Highest Self June 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Wow, this has to be the most delicious looking and sounding recipe I have ever laid my eyes on!!! I’m just not talented or patient enough to make this but I’m dreaming :)

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8 jess white @athriftyfoodie June 29, 2011 at 5:19 am

these look absolutely delicious, will be making these come the next birthday…or day off!

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9 annie August 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm

just made them today! they were delicious! =D

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10 jo-lyn's cup cakes n' candies January 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm

gonna use this cupcake recipe with my from scratch strawberry whipped cream recipe for a strawberry white chocolate combo that i think is gonna be fantastic! i will let you know how it turns out! thnx! =)

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